Two Australian surfers drive 30,000km down the coast of West Africa, on a year-long expedition searching for undiscovered waves. An ‘Endless Summer’ for the modern generation.
Richard and Andrew James are twin brothers, 26 years old, from Freshwater Beach in Sydney. Surfing and travel have been their lifelong passions so it was natural for them to embark on a filming mission that most would turn and run the other way at the thought of exploring such far off regions of the world.
Their motivation is simple: the beaches of Australia can be crowded with tourists, and sometimes surfing there can be a hassle. So they drove all the way down Africa’s west coast, from Morocco through Western Sahara, Senegal, Liberia, Angola, Namibia, and ending in South Africa. There they find plenty of great waves, isolated areas where they can surf uncluttered waters.
Brought to us by Lightbox productions (who previously made “White Silk Road: Snowboarding Afghanistan“) Thirty Thousand is the brother’s first film. It is their story of a year long search for waves down the west coast of Africa (30,000 km), a place that some would consider as foreign as the moon.
The film is a great mix of road trip meets surfing adventure where they explore previously unexplored surfing spots along Africa’s west coast.
Along the way they surf undiscovered waves in Morocco, Western Sahara, Senegal, Liberia, Angola, Namibia and South Africa. The film documents the waves, cultures and landscapes of this long and diverse coast.
In some ways the film feels like surfing classic The Endless Summer, only it’s not like that; it has its own charm with its serious socio-political undertone. Narrated by one of the twins, he tells of how their travels down the African coast open their eyes to the political situations at play in those countries – the military tensions, the poverty. He points out that people in Africa don’t surf, which I think is sad – they have so much viable coastline, but they’re too busy just living and surviving to really enjoy it.
The movie has won five awards in different surf movie festivals, for best film and best soundtrack. Among others it won the Audience Choice Award and Best Soundtrack at the International Surf Film Festival in Anglet, France.